1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum Presents Capstone Project for HELP Advance Program Thomas Jefferson Celebration: Party Like It’s 1810

March 29, 2013 Contact:Karen Campbell, Director of External Affairs Karen@maaa.org or 816-421-1388, ext. 231 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum Presents Capstone Project for HELP Advance Program Thomas Jefferson Celebration: Party Like It’s 1810 Saturday, April 13, 2013 - free and open to the public Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), in partnership with the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and its partner state arts agencies, provides the Hands-on Experiential Learning Project (HELP) program to more than 45 small and midsize organizations throughout its region. This customized training program provides training that addresses the specific needs of these important cultural organizations, centering on strategic planning, resource management, and community engagement, and culminating with a capstone project in each participating organization’s community. The Westport Historical Society is one of the participating organizations, and for their capstone project, the Society’s 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum will present a unique historical and educational program to the community and launch the CROSBY Historic Preservation Award. The public is invited to attend this historical and educational program, “Party Like It’s 1810!,” on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Museum, 4000 Baltimore Avenue (in the Westport district), Kansas City, Missouri, 64111. Adults and children of all ages, especially those interested in gardens, gardening, Thomas Jefferson, and historic preservation are encouraged to attend. The event coincides with the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, and his gardens. An exciting exhibit about Lewis and Clark will be available for viewing. Traders and trappers will also be in attendance as well as other re-enactors of the time period. Additional activities include: Special guest, Ms. Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants at Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, Va.), will provide a workshop on plants at the Museum at 11:00 a.m. Ms. Cornett will also serve as a featured speaker for a “Jefferson Tea,” which will be held at 10:00 a.m. More information and reservations for the Jefferson Tea can be made by contacting 816-561-1821 or emailing westporthistorical@gmail.com. There is no charge for the Jefferson Tea; however, all good will offerings and donations will go toward the restoration of “Hattie’s Room.” “Hatie’s Garden,” a new herb garden at the museum, will be dedicated at 12:00 p.m. Mr. Crosby Kemper, Executive Director of the Kansas City, Mo., Public Library, will present “A Conversation with James Madison, Thomas Jefferson’s Best Friend,” at 1:00 p.m.

At 2:00 p.m., Mr. Kemper will serve as a featured speaker, and the Westport Historical Society will honor Mr. Kemper during the celebration. In addition, a special announcement is planned for 2:45 p.m., where the first recipient of the CROSBY Award will be announced. The CROSBY Historical Preservation Award, named for Mr. Kemper, will be an annual award given by the Westport Historical Society to a group, person, or persons who demonstrate exceptional work in the area of historic preservation in the Kansas City area.

The goal of the capstone project and event is bring greater awareness to the Harris-Kearney House Museum and the history of Missouri, with an emphasis on historic preservation. The public event was planned by a designated committee and members of the Board of Directors of the Westport Historical Society, and funding for the event is provided through private donations and in-kind contributions. About the Westport Historical Society: The Westport Historical Society (WHS) was established in 1950 to promote and foster public interest in and preserve the significant history of Westport, Missouri and Town of Kansas, Missouri and their founders. The Westport Historical Society was incorporated in 1964 as a tax exempt, non-profit organization. About Mid-America Arts Alliance: About Mid-America Arts Alliance: Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) is a nonprofit regional arts organization and our mission is to strengthen communities and improve lives through extraordinary cultural experiences. We are especially committed to enlivening the cultural life of our underserved communities that lack the resources to provide cultural programs and services to their constituents. Now in our 40th year, we continue to bring more art to more people, especially in our partner states of Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. For more information about Mid-America Arts Alliance and HELP Advance, please visit http://www.maaa.org/capactiybuilding or contact karen@maaa.org.

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